Say what you want about the found footage sub-genre, but director Bjorn Anderson smartly takes from “Cloverfield” and builds an intriguing gimmick. Naming his movie “Eyes in the Dark” leads the audience in to a very tightly wound and spooky found footage horror film where a group of hapless individuals wander in to the Cascades and are stalked and hunted by glowing red eyes in the dark. Part of the fun is finding out what the red glowing eyes are, and the mystery of the unknown is a valuable tool that director Anderson implements for his audience.
Given the set up of confidential FBI footage a la “Cloverfield” (Can you imagine what horrifying goodies the FBI and CIA have in their video database?), we flip through a bunch of recovered footage that unfolds through hand held cameras, and cell phone cameras. Thankfully “Eyes in the Dark” is spooky and ambiguous enough to where even when we’re let in on what the red glowing eyes are, it’s still fuel for a nightmarish journey in to the wilderness. “Eyes in the Dark” works on so many levels as a nightmarish horror film, and a cryptozoology nightmare. Director Anderson works on the prevailing theory that the government are very aware of the wilderness within the depths of the world’s forests, and how they link to mysterious disappearances. The narrative unfolds through three different scenarios: we follow two animal biologists seeking migration patterns of local deer, a group of friends that go away to a lush lodge in order for one of the characters to propose to his girlfriend, and a massive rescue party in the aftermath of both events looking for bodies.
The latter scenario is easily the best of the trio, as Anderson really unfolds his narrative and lets loose an onslaught of horrifying moments and suggestive chaos within the woods. You’d never figure a massive well organized public rescue party venturing in to the woods would be at risk of any kind of harm, but lo and behold, Anderson spares literally no one. To compensate for the low budget, most of the violence is heard through radio frequencies and off screen attacks. Anderson allows his audience tiny glimpses as to the predators in to the woods, and it’s a definite cause for awe induced gasps, to say the least. Director Anderson displays great restraint, allowing for just enough glimpses at the film’s menacing beasts without ruining the dread soaked mystery. Director Bjorn Anderson really implements the found footage sub-genre well, offering a creepy, and very well directed indie horror outing.